The Final Bar


Left hand wraps the neck of my Larrivee
and I press four fingers into a G-major shape.
I like the fuller sound of my pinky on the high E,
ring finger on the B, both third fret.
G, C9, D, the I-IV-V progression.
Then E-A-B. All nice big cowboy chords,
twelve bars, like the progression
from January to December.
It’s always like that…the years,
the mindless strumming through life.

This past one was good to great,
with its share of sad, so I turn the chords
into 7ths and play it all as a slow Blues.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
This gets pretty boring, the passage
of chords, of days, of months,
unless I throw in some solo runs.
I sometimes show off
(for myself, up in my Lair).
You know, just to be free of Life’s structure.

But this thing has to end.
I can hear my critics downstairs, 
so, as I come back ’round to Bar 11,
I go grab my I Chord, the E,
and let it ring nice and long,
closing my eyes to remember it
until my next time.
They have a word for finishing up
on that tonic chord. We resolve back to it.
Just like in that last bar of the year,
we end things with resolution.

Shhh… Still ringing.

This was written as a true Internal-Editor’s-eyes-closed Free Write in response to the photo above from my friend Kellie Elmore’s blog and her New Year’s Free Write Friday feature. I admit, it’s a little rambly and free-form, like a good blues and a good year.

3 thoughts on “The Final Bar

  1. errrgh! My laptop kicked me off just as I was clicking ‘post comment’! 😦 Let me say…again… I LOVE the blues and I wish I knew musical notes so I could hear it but…I certainly FEEL it! Thank you sooooooooooo much for coming back, Joe! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  2. Lovely use of music as a metaphor. While most pieces do resolve, some musicians have the courage to let it linger without resolution. My life is becoming more improvisational with less and less need to tie everything up neatly. You express that so well. hugs, pat

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